01/09/2009. Contributed by Ewan Angus
pub: Vertigo/DC. 40 page come. Price: $ 1.00 (US).
check out website: www.dccomics.com
For someone who is so respected and thought of in the comicbook industry it really is time that writer Peter Milligan branched out and took a stab at his own series with original characters and an original plot. Unfortunately, he hasn't done either of these things in his latest offering, instead he's given us 'Greek Street'. The first issue in this new series is an attempt at contemporising the ancient Greek tragedies with a twist.
Based around London's aptly named Greek Street, the story follows Eddie, yeah, as in Oedipus, as he finds his estranged mother, sleeps with her and subsequently bashes her head in. So if you've read 'The Originals', this plot is nothing new. If you haven't, then this just comes across as a vicious attempt as a supernatural 'Eastenders'. Believe me, that's nowhere near as cool as that concept sounds.
The book also introduces us to the clearly clairvoyant but no one believes her character, the policeman with issues, and a group of gangsters known as the Fureys. This is intertwined with an arc that deals with philosophical strippers, one of whom is found dead later on.
For a first issue, it tries to do too much. The unfortunate orphan Eddie is a two-dimensionally boring character with clichéd mental issues. For a book with an engaging hero, look elsewhere.
Milligan's credentials should stand up for him with this as he's had a pop at two of the darkest books in comicbook lore, Batman and Moon Knight respectively. I caught the 'Moon Knight: Silent Knight Christmas Special' that came out a few years back and it was an average affair, saved by its noir-like artwork and quirky schizophrenic scenes. This book has neither of these things to fall back on.
The art here is just fine, there is nothing spectacular screaming at you. Artist Davide Gianfelice leaves you believing every character is a seedy wannabe model styled in dirty high street brands. One scene has the most non-descript image I have ever seen in a comicbook. I've re-read it several times and am still none the wiser as to what the image is. I've a feeling its food...
Taking a contemporary twist on the Greek classics is a big challenge and the host of characters introduced in this first issue convolutes and alienates the reader leaving an unsatisfactory tale that is uninteresting and completely uncompelling. Considering Milligan is at the helm of the latest 'Hellblazer' run and slated to write an upcoming 'Thor' one-shot, what he has showcased in 'Greek Street' doesn't bode well for either titles.
So if sex, incest, violence, zombies, clairvoyance and self-mutilation of genitals are your thing and yes, I'm making it sound bad so you feel awful about liking it, then this is definitely for you. Just don't expect your friends to enjoy you discussing the 'great' new series you've read.
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